25 Elf On The Shelf Ideas With Free Printable Elf Notes

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Stuck for ideas of where to hide your elf? Here are 25 fun and easy elf on the shelf ideas along with free printable elf on the shelf notes perfect for last minute elf shenanigans! Your kids will love the fun activities your Elf on the Shelf does each day, and you’ll love not having to come up with new ideas this Christmas! Perfect for last minute Elf On The Shelf fun!

Hi Crafty Friends!

Are you an Elf on the Shelf Family? If you are then you are going to love, love, love today’s free printable.

My Christmas celebrating parent friends seem to fall into one of two categories:

  1. “We have an Elf on the Shelf. Finding new and creative things to do with it each night is the bane of my existence.”
  2. “No way in heck will my family EVER have an Elf on the Shelf. I have enough on my plate.”

A few of my mom friends enjoy elf duty, but they are pretty few and far between.

My first year of elf duty was so much fun. Then year two rolled around and it was painful. I would forget to move the elf each night, and felt uninspired when it came to finding new and creative ideas. I eventually figured out a little secret though– If the elf idea is fun enough, your kids will look forward to it happening each and every year! So if you are able to put together a good list, revisiting past ideas can actually be a really wonderful thing.

Three years ago my oldest became the newest member of the Santa crew. She had shown me that it was important to her to help keep the magic of Christmas alive for her little brother. I took her for lunch and told her that there isn’t just one Santa, but millions of Santas– People who had Christmas alive in their heart and wanted to keep the magic of Christmas alive for children everywhere. I asked her if she wanted to be the newest Santa, and she of course said yes.

My daughter’s first Santa job was to help with “elf duties”. The two of us have been helping our elves get into all kinds of mischief and shenanigans ever since and it’s brought Christmas to a whole new level of fun.

The two of us sit down at the beginning of “elf season” and brainstorm a list of 25 fun things that our elves can do that year. We buy any supplies we need at the dollar store, hide them away in a closet, and refer to our list whenever we need a last minute elf on the shelf idea.

What is Elf On The Shelf?

Elf on the shelf

An Elf on the Shelf is a magic scout elf from the North Pole that Santa Claus sends to families who would like to host an elf in their home. Often the elf will arrive on December 1st and you’ll wake up to find them hanging out in the Christmas tree, sitting on the mantle or with their little elf head poking out of the top of a Christmas stocking. He or she comes with a book that explains this incredible holiday tradition.

Each night the elf magically transports themselves back to Santa’s workshop to report on if their child did things to put them on the good list or the naughty list that day, so it’s important for children to be on their very best behavior! Then they head back home to hide again the next day and do something fun to delight their child. When your child wakes up they get to hunt for the elf’s new spot.

Our Elf’s favorite snacks are chocolate, candy canes, marshmallows, sugary cereal, Christmas cookies, cake, maple syrup (obviously… we have a Canadian elf!), mandarin oranges and pretty much any other holiday treats and recipes.

Elves sometimes also have their own pets! They appear to children to be a stuffed animal, but at night they turn into the real deal and they do their own scouting of the house while their elf goes to visit Santa. My favorite elf pets are reindeer, Arctic foxes and St. Bernards!

Some elves are naughty elves that make messes around the house using fun ingredients like sprinkles, marshmallows and chocolate. Where other elves stick to the nice list and bring little gifts like an advent calendar on the first day of the month, tiny lego sculptures, candy canes and other sweet treats. Some elves also like to bake Christmas cookies!

Whether your elf leans more to the nice side, naughty side or is a mix of the two– children love waking up to discover the elf antics!

Our elf is my son’s favorite Christmas tradition, and I’ll admit… It makes me smile an awful lot too. As much as he loves Christmas, it always feels a bit bittersweet saying goodbye to his elf and all the mischief making on Christmas Eve.

Fun Elf on the Shelf Printables!

Stuck for ideas of where to hide your elf? Here are 25 fun and easy elf on the shelf ideas along with free printable elf on the shelf notes! Your kids will love the fun activities your Elf on the Shelf does each day, and you'll love not having to come up with new ideas this Christmas! #ElfOnTheShelf #Christmas #ChristmasPrintables #ElfIdeas #FreePrintables #ChristmasCrafting #HolidayFun #Elf

Our elves have some favorite Christmas traditions that they do every year, and they always try to throw in a few new and fun ideas too.

Some of our elf’s favorite cute ideas include:

  • Ziplining on bakers twine with candy canes across the living room with Christmas ornaments (that one is a lot of fun)
  • Fishing for goldfish crackers in the kitchen sink
  • Using toilet paper to tp the bathroom
  • Bringing the kids new Christmas decor to decorate the house with
  • Reading Christmas books to their toy friends by the fireplace
  • Building a snowman or getting into a mini marshmallow snowball fight
  • Making snow angels out of flour, rice or sprinkles
  • Sledding down the stairs into a laundry basket filled with clothes using a plastic cereal bowl as a sled
  • Drawing funny faces on family portraits or writing on the mirror with dry erase markers
  • Hiding in the fridge
  • Building a racetrack with toy cars
  • Have a toy parade with Barbie, the minions and other toy friends
  • Getting stuck inside a mason jar (this is also a great opportunity for a child to take an elf on a tour of the house)
  • Making hot chocolate
  • Riding on the ceiling fan
  • Lay out DVDs of Christmas movies and treats for a special movie night complete with popcorn.
  • Get our free Elf On The Shelf Ideas printable with 25 Easy Last Minute Elf Ideas below.

This year I thought I’d share with you 25 of our favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas, along with some printable elf notes that you can use to bring your elf game to the next level!

Want to grab our 25 Elf On The Shelf Easy Ideas and Printable Elf Notes?

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Please remember this printable is for personal use only. 

  • This file can be used in part or in whole for your personal projects.
  • Digital reselling, sharing, redistributing of the files is NOT allowed. If you would like to share, please direct friends to the original blog post where you found this printable file

Even More Elf On The Shelf Ideas

Looking for more Elf On The Shelf Ideas for Santa Claus’ favorite scout? I’ve got you covered! I’ve got Printable Elf On The Shelf Accessories and Props, Christmas Printables for your elf to bring, a magical elf moving glove and so much more!

Make sure you check back often, to see our latest Elf on the Shelf Printables, Crafts and Christmas printables your elves can leave for your kids! Click on the photo below to go to the post!

Gift Ideas For Your Elf On The Shelf

Did you know that elves are just like children and they love to get presents for Christmas too? It’s true! Our elves love to find special presents just for them in the leadup to Christmas (and we all know that what the elf wants, the elf gets!)

If you want to get your elves some very special presents of their own, here are a few of our favorite suggestions! When you purchase a gift for your elf using these links, you help to support our site!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you love this Elf on the Shelf printable and that it helps make your holiday season just a little bit easier! Have friends who are struggling with their elves? Make sure you send them a link to this site so they can download this printable too!

Tell me… Do you enjoy “elf duty”? Do your elves do different things every year or do they have holiday favorites they repeat year to year?

If you like Christmas Printables we would love for you to pin this post to Pinterest! It helps others find our content, which helps us continue doing what we do!

If you like this post, make sure you check out our printables section! Here are a few other ideas you might like too!

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One Comment

  1. I love the idea to make a snow angel using sprinkles.